Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

You don't access to equipment, little or no money to buy it. But it's alright. You can make better stuff for yourself anyway.
User avatar
Against Gravity
Posts: 529
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:21 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Against Gravity » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:26 am

Massimo Kokhno wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:58 am
Also the free hanging version on a bar could be harder, since when I had tried it my range of motion was very small. One leg on a bar with arms overhead and above horizontal is probably the ultimate bodyweight hamstring exercise, it's a long term goal.
That's extremely insane, I think you'd be the very first human (who knows if in the whole history of humankind) doing that. Definitely a legendary strength feat. Even if in the worst case you didn't finally achieve it, though, I think it is a worthwhile journey - it will force your body to acquire the strongest hams that it can possibly get.

Also, once you get the squat rack, I seriously recommend you barbell one legged deadlifts. It may be useful for building up hypertrophy & strength for those extremely insane exercises you are aiming for.

User avatar
Vagabond
Site Admin
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Vagabond » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:41 am

WOW, the inverted Nordic curls looks freaking hard! I love it, and I can't wait to see how you progress at them! I bet it's possible to go higher than horizontal, but I'm not too sure about all the way calves to hamstrings, because it's quite the end of the range there. That's so sick!

An other way to progress them, aside from going full inverted or slightly declined using the stairs, could be to hang one side of your board to a door using straps. Using rubber padding on the floor to prevent slippage, you could probably keep declining the board more than you could on the stairs!

User avatar
Massimo Kokhno
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Massimo Kokhno » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:08 pm

If you try to get your ham to touch the calf while standing you can get an idea of how much ROM is possible with and without momentum, in theory. Since I can pause above horizontal in an inverted squat, I think with practice I could with a straight body too.

For even more decline on the board I'd need to build a place at the end of the strap to imitate the ergonomics of a glute ham developer and stick my feet there, because with a strap alone I'm not sure just tightening it fully would work.

While you haven't got a plank yet, you could already try the idea of a door anchor + hook (instead of a carabinier so that you can handstand walk in and out of it instead of relying on someone else helping you), I think since the weight pushes the strap around the feet downward there is not much risk of it slipping out of the hook if its curved part is high enough to trap it. Assuming your door is solid enough if you lock it. Also without adequate padding the strap is not comfortable for the feet.

Regarding Against Gravity's one leg deadlifts, I used to do them in the past with dumbbells, and currently I'm restructuring my leg routine to include more weights, I should write a training log instead of being lazy about it.

User avatar
Against Gravity
Posts: 529
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:21 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Against Gravity » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:26 pm

Massimo Kokhno wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:08 pm
Regarding Against Gravity's one leg deadlifts, I used to do them in the past with dumbbells, and currently I'm restructuring my leg routine to include more weights, I should write a training log instead of being lazy about it.
I second that!
In fact, I think you've already doing a log already, commenting these experiences with nordic curls. Having a topic in the training log sub-forum exclusively focused on your training would be great. You could update it whenever you feel inspired to do so, not necessarily every single day - so it shouldn't be a problem for lazyness.

User avatar
Vagabond
Site Admin
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Vagabond » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:36 pm

I really need to add an addon to like people's posts on the forum!

And that's an idea, for the door frame, but I think I'll wait to make the board, because I'd like to start with regular Nordic curls again first. Been a few years since I've done them.

User avatar
Massimo Kokhno
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Massimo Kokhno » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:01 pm

I like the idea of the addon to like posts, since when I read them and don't know what to write in reply I could still show my appreciation.

I'm curious to see what design you come up with and what your level will be when you build your plank, since it sounds like when you were training Nordic curls you had reached a higher level than mine.

User avatar
Vagabond
Site Admin
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Vagabond » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:59 pm

I'm curious too! I haven't done them in so long! I hope I am still able to do them! And I'm going to look into the post appreciation system!

User avatar
Massimo Kokhno
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Massimo Kokhno » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:31 pm

I also posted this clip in my training log, but here it is too, inversion boots Nordic curls to around 90° knee flexion:
Click to show or hide
My friend got the same range of motion despite being able to do only one floor Nordic curl, he is a fast guy and that could have given him the hamstring strength at that angle, I don't have an objective idea of the difficulty of this exercise.

The maximum range of motion would be the one you can get while standing and flexing the knee while keeping the hips extended, so I can slightly increase it, possibly. Also if the knees flex more the shins would be closer to horizontal so maybe there could be the risk of the hooks of the boots detaching from the bar. And I don't know if these boots can safely support the one leg version, but I could extend the arms overhead and hold a small weight for a longer lever arm.

I think the stall bars/door anchor version is much harder, since the shins can't move and at 90° knees you have a fully horizontal body, that's why even with momentum I was not able to reach that angle.

The free hanging vs the vertical shins version is like the sissy squat vs the Matrix squat, the latter forces a longer lever at 90° knee flexion.

What I like about the inverted version is that it does not put any pressure on the knees so the problem of finding adequate padding is not present. Not sure how useful it is, the resistance curve is very different from the floor version, being harder at the top and not the bottom.

User avatar
Against Gravity
Posts: 529
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:21 pm

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Against Gravity » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:28 pm

Massimo Kokhno wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:31 pm
My friend got the same range of motion despite being able to do only one floor Nordic curl, he is a fast guy and that could have given him the hamstring strength at that angle, I don't have an objective idea of the difficulty of this exercise
Theoretically, I think (not really sure about this) that it should be as hard as lifting both legs off the ground when standing through knee flexion only (for the desired ROM in the inverted nordic curl), or as you said, while standing and flexing the knee while keeping the hips extended, but with ankle weights equal to your BW. So I guess it could be made progressive, for example by hanging on a pull-up bar, holding the weights on your feet through a rope (or anything you find useful for it), and trying to flex at the knees (as I am in the profile picture).

For curiosity purposes, you could also test hamstring strength on a leg curl machine, and compare it with the inverted version


It would be interesting to at least experiment with it, and see how much weight could you handle that way for the desired ROM. That would give you an idea of how far you are from an inverted nordic curl. Also, it could be extremely useful for the one leg inverted curl (by repeating it, but on one leg). It could be made more 'strict' (avoid cheating with hip flexion) if instead hanging from a bar, you hang from a wall edge - but the set-up may be more awkward.

User avatar
Vagabond
Site Admin
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Plank + straps for Nordic leg curls and Matrix leg extensions

Post by Vagabond » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:45 pm

Massimo, an other cool thing you should try is heel hang pull-ups! Point your toes really hard and hook your heels over a thin bar. At first, just learn to hang from your heels. When you feel comfortable doing do, learn to extend your legs slowly, then pull yourself back up using your hamstrings.